Showing posts with label America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label America. Show all posts

28 May 2017

More Than a 3-Day Weekend



Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

It's equivalent to Dodenherdenking in the Netherlands, or Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations.

The holiday's original purpose was to honor those who have been killed while serving in our nation's military.

That's still the holiday's official purpose. Recent generations have used the three-day weekend as an unofficial start of summer vacation season. That's not, I think, entirely inappropriate. I'll get back to that.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 May 2017

Mother’s Day, and Mary

Upwards of 40 countries celebrate mothers at some point during each year.

America's Mother's Day doesn't seem to connect with Phrygia's cult of Cybele or Japan's Haha no Hi, apart from being a recognition of motherhood.

Our Mother's Day has roots in my country's civil war. Ann Jarvis organized a committee in 1868, promoting "Mother's Friendship Day." The idea was "to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

12 May 2017

Good Intentions

Variations on "dead men tell no tales" go back at least to 1560 or thereabouts in my language. The idea is much older.1

As advice goes, it's arguably flawed. Folks who are dead aren't chatty, but their bodies occasionally pop up at inopportune times.

I'll be talking about unmarked and unremembered graves, insane asylums, and similarly-uncheerful things. It's not all bad news, though.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

9 Apr 2017

The Speckled Axe



I'm a perfectionist, a frustrated one. Somewhere between childhood and adolescence, I felt that if adequacy had a numeric value, it'd be greater than two and less than one; or something equally impossible.

More accurately, I felt as if that was the standard imposed on me. I realized that it wasn't possible, and that there was no point in trying to reach it. Like I said, frustrated.

That goes a long way to explain, I think, why results from aptitude and intelligence tests showed that I should be getting stellar grades: and I wasn't.

Autism Meets Perfectionism


Academics interested me, and I was paying attention. I just didn't see a point in "good grades." Besides, there was a whole universe full of things not being covered at any particular moment: including some inside the classroom.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

7 Apr 2017

Pesticides in the Water



I live on Earth, so caring about what happens here makes sense. I've talked about enlightened self-interest, Yeats, Ehrlich, and getting a grip, before. Often, actually. (February 17, 2017; January 20, 2017; September 16, 2016; August 12, 2016)

A news item about scientists finding a particular sort of pesticide in America's drinking water got my attention. So did what they said about it: which made sense.

Whether or not this becomes a hot news item, like the "Flint Water Crisis," depends partly on how badly editors need something to angst over. My opinion.

What happened in Flint, Michigan, was real enough. There's a pretty good Wikipedia page on it. Briefly, Flint's drinking water was okay until the city started drawing from the Flint River instead of Lake Huron and the Detroit River.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

27 Feb 2017

Olathe: Death and Hope

Murder and attempted murder in the Kansas City metropolitan area last week is international news.

If the suspect's neighbor is right, the 'drunken mess' who killed an engineer from India was having trouble dealing with his father's death.1

I think he could have found a better outlet for his grief....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

5 Feb 2017

Natural Law, Our Rules



Back in my 'good old days,' a half-century back, some claimed that science, technology, and a changing culture, made the 'outmoded morality' we'd been working with obsolete.

Others apparently believed that moral decay was caused by newfangled gadgets like the telephone and television: and, of course, 'Satanic' rock music....

...Folks who claimed that a changing world made 'conventional morality' obsolete were right: sort of.

That may seem odd, coming from a Catholic who agrees with Fulton Sheen....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

22 Jan 2017

Conservative? Liberal? No: Catholic

My father-in-law has been asked if he's conservative — or liberal.

His answer: "I'm Catholic."

I'd give the same answer.

Catholic teachings are quite definite, so it's possible to peg them on the American political spectrum — as long as you don't look at the big picture.

Taking bits and pieces of Catholic beliefs, and the history of Catholics in America, I could claim that the Catholic Church is conservative or liberal. That would be as big a mistake as seeing all conservatives as hate-fueled foes of diversity, or all liberals as irresponsible lunatics.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

10 Jan 2017

Deciding Who Dies

Death at a Bible study back in 2015, and at Fort Lauderdale airport last week, has been in the news.

It's probably not as exciting as what glitterati were wearing and saying at the Golden Globe Awards; but I figured now would be a good time to talk about those deaths, and decisions

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

1 Oct 2016

Love, Neighbors, and Voting

(From Wiley Miller, via GoComics.com, used w/o permission.) (Wiley Miller's January 16, 2016, Non Sequitur. The field of major candidates has narrowed considerably since then.).

I have no great enthusiasm for November's election, but I plan to vote with whatever prudence and wisdom I can muster.

Being a good citizen, contributing to the good of society and taking part in public life, is part of being Catholic: or should be. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1915, 2239).

In my country, that includes voting intelligently: thinking about issues and candidates, voting for whoever and whatever is best; or likely to do the least damage, in some cases.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

11 Sep 2016

Love, Mercy, and 9/11

Airliners were flown into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon 15 years ago today, killing nearly 3,000 folks whose chief offense had been living in an American city and going to work Tuesday morning.

The 19 immediately responsible died with their victims. They were waging Osama bin Laden's religious war against the United States.

Osama bin Laden is dead now, and so are a great many others: perpetrators and victims; Christians, Muslims, and folks who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On top of that, about 1,800,000 folks were stopped last year, while trying to get into Europe. Some may have had ulterior motives; but most were trying to stay alive, fleeing because their former homes had become a war zone.

It's the biggest problem of that sort Europe's had since the 1940s. Quite a few folks are upset: partly because most of the refugees hadn't had opportunities to fill out all their paperwork before entering Europe.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

24 Jul 2016

Citizenship and Being Catholic

I like being an American, most of the time.

I know that my country is far from perfect, but I'd rather be here than anywhere else on Earth.

Living in Sauk Centre, a smallish central Minnesota town, probably helps. I really like it here.

But it's no Brigadoon, unchanged and unaffected by the outside world....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

9 Jul 2016

All Lives Matter


(From BBC News, used w/o permission.)

...I was quite upset about the incident when I heard about it on radio news the next day. Philando Castile had apparently done exactly what he should have done: followed instructions of the police officer....

...Later Thursday, I heard and read that someone had started shooting police officers at a demonstration in Dallas, Texas.

So far, six people are dead as a result of that incident: five police officers, and the person who apparently killed them. Seven officers and two civilians are still alive, but injured. I was quite upset about that, too....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

15 Jun 2016

Death in Orlando: Love and Solidarity


The 49 folks killed at an Orlando entertainment venue late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, and the person who killed them, are still dead. Others are hospitalized, and may or may not survive. A whole lot of folks are mourning the loss of family and friends.

Repeating what I wrote Sunday afternoon, I should love God, love my neighbors, see everybody as my neighbor, and treat others as I want to be treated....

...Here's what a Bishop, an Archbishop, and someone at the Vatican, had to say....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 Dec 2015

Evil is Not Good

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at about 6:59 p.m. UTC, 10:59 a.m. PST, two people killed 14 others at a holiday office party in San Bernardino, California.

The killers were located and stopped a few hours later, and died during an armed confrontation with law enforcement. I put names of the dead, and a few links, at the end of this post.1

I'm still experiencing anger, disgust, and several other emotions in connection with this latest mass murder. It's an unpleasant sensation, but I'd probably be more concerned if I didn't notice any emotional response.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

17 Nov 2015

Attacks in Paris: People Matter




(From BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("The names of victims have started to emerge. Top left to right: Nohemi Gonzalez, Marie Mosser, Djamila Houd. Middle left to right: Juan Alberto Gonzalez, Guillaume Decherf, Nick Alexander. Bottom left to right: Mathieu Hoche, Thomas Ayed, Valentin Ribet"
(BBC News))....

...Another article tells about efforts to find folks who are still missing: either dead, or hospitalized and not able to say who they are. I'll get back to that....

...A few names from that BBC News article —
"Dado," the nickname of a man killed at the Bataclan. Hugo Sarrade, Cedric Mauduit, Mathieu Hoche, Quentin Boulanger, Guillaume B Decherf, Marie Lausch, Mathias Dymarski, and Lola Salines, had been at the Bataclan, too.

No pressure, and this is just a suggestion: but praying for everyone involved couldn't hurt....

More, at A Catholic Citizen in America.

9 Nov 2015

Little Sisters and other resisters

photo: supremecourt.gov
Being a Catholic American is certainly a privilege, often a joy. I make no claim that a U.S. government policy will do what the very gates of Hell can't do: prevail against Christ's church. Certainly nothing I experience here can compare to what our sisters and brothers in other parts of the world are suffering for the faith.

Even so, a federal policy that calls contraception "basic preventive health care" gets my attention. Federal efforts to force me to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs challenge the religious liberty I have thus far been afforded as an American. And I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Little Sisters of the Poor, my sisters in faith, who are asserting their religious liberty in the face of federal policy. The Supreme Court has just accepted their case for consideration.

Read more at Leaven for the Loaf.

20 Sep 2015

Family, Firsts, and Francis: also Trading Cards


(From Libreria Editrice Vaticana, used w/o permission.)

Pope Francis arrived in Havana, Cuba, yesterday. It's his first stop on the latest apostolic journey....

...Getting back to the Pope's visit to Cuba and the United States, the Philadelphia Phillies have been giving away Pope Francis Rookie Cards....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Sep 2015

Being a Citizen

I was surprised and flattered when two tourists from Thailand asked me if I was Jewish. That was about four decades back, at Grand Canyon National Park, near the visitor center.

I'd brought a big topographic map of that massive gulch, spreading it out at intervals to see what I was looking at, and taking photos. That's not mine, by the way: it's from Tom Bernard Anyz.

I think the Thai tourists had noticed that I had a full beard and never took my cap off.

Quite a few gentiles in America wore caps indoors and out at the time, and still do: but not many American men grow a 'haven't shaved in years' beard. The plain black jacket I wore probably helped, too.

I enjoyed being mistaken for one of our Lord's relatives, but my ancestors are about as gentile as it gets, west of the Urals. They probably hadn't even heard of Abraham or Isaac until missionaries arrived, and that's another topic.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 Aug 2015

(Not) 'Going Native'

As a Christian, and a Catholic, I should be 'in the world but not of the world.' That idea shows up in John 15:18-19 and 17:14-16, and Romans 12:2.

Joining a cloistered outfit like the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) is one option: they're part of the Benedictine family, contemplative monks and nuns.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

To Be or Not to Be . . . a Saint

This past week I was interviewed about saints for a podcast, so I thought I’d share some thoughts about them this week. I believe it was ...